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Rackspace Adds Virtualization to IT Hosting Portfolio
Rackspace, a leading provider of hosted IT services, today announced its virtualization initiative, starting with the enterprise-class support of dedicated virtualized servers. Virtualization is the newest service offering signaling Rackspaces shift to IT hosting, transforming traditional IT functions into consumable services via the web. As more enterprises transition from purchasing in-house computing assets to leveraging service providers, Rackspace now offers a suite of hosted IT services that are more reliable and provide better value, including virtualization, hosted mail, custom application support, back-end IT and storage.

Rackspaces virtualization platform, built on VMwares third-generation virtualization software suite, pushes virtualization to the next level in order to support mission-critical, production systems. Customers using virtualization can gain flexibility and scalability in their infrastructure, as well as simplified infrastructure management with new data protection options and on-demand provisioning. Additionally, server consolidation can be a benefit with the Rackspace virtualization offering.

Our product development approach focuses first and foremost on Fanatical Support® readiness, said John Engates, chief technology officer, Rackspace. We also ask, Is the technology ready to use in a production environment? We believe that our new virtualization offering now meets these requirements and pushes the envelope, giving customers a virtualized environment ready for mission-critical applications, supported by our wealth of experience, expertise and Fanatical Support.

Rackspace today has nearly 300 virtual machines under management, using the virtualization infrastructure for internal IT operations as well as Rackspaces venture company infrastructures, Mosso® cloud computing and Mailtrust hosted email solutions. Virtualization is a highly-complex technology, but Rackspaces team of VMware Certified Engineers provides customers the technical expertise needed to design and leverage a virtualized system in the new era of provisioning, networking, monitoring, disaster recovery and more.

Our ShopLocal Index, which tracks the influence of the Internet on in-store shopping across major US retailers, grew by 60 percent this past holiday season compared to the year before. There are days, like Thanksgiving, when consumers look to us for in-store deals for the big shopping day (dubbed Black Friday) where we see traffic 30 times that of a normal day. While we serve millions of shoppers and over 100 retailers, we dont want to disappoint one shopper or one retailer with a faulty website, said Ted Westerheide, Consumer Intelligence at ShopLocal. Rackspaces virtualization platform coupled with the predictive capabilities of the ShopLocal Index provides our company with a scalable architecture that seamlessly supports our busy shopping seasons, even when we see large, short-term spikes in traffic.

Rackspaces new virtualization platform will be based on dedicated physical hardware for each customer and will include the option of hybrid virtual and physical hosted environments. According to a recent Rackspace customer survey, 51 percent of customer respondents were not willing to share a physical server with other virtualization hosting customers, and only 13 percent were certain they were willing to share a physical server with other customers.

Rackspaces Engates added, Virtualization is still an evolving technology, and we believe this is just the beginning for Rackspace. Our RackLabs research and development department plans to continue to work with partners like VMware, Microsoft and XenSource to make generational leaps in the virtualization hosting arena. We expect future releases of Rackspace Virtualization Hosting to include enhanced disaster recovery, storage and scaling capabilities.

Published Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:14 AM by David Marshall
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